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Types of nightstands: from functional to aesthetical

Designing your bedroom décor can be a thrilling experience; however, there is more to it than meets the eye. It is not just about finding the right bed, ceiling light, and linen but also choosing the perfect nightstand.

Why do bedside tables steal the spotlight nowadays? Well, apart from being functional by keeping all the essentials you need during the night, that remarkable piece of furniture also brings harmony, style, and unity to your sleeping area.

But how do you decide what type of nightstand is the ideal one for you? Are you lost in the maze of shape, size, and function? In this article, we will highlight a few of the main types of nightstands to help you choose the right one.

Built-in bedside table

One of the most convenient option is the built-in bedside table: in this case, the bedside shelf or bedside drawer is integrated with the bed – forming one piece of bedroom furniture. Here you don't have much choice as the style is determined by the design of the bed though being stylish and focusing on simplicity is a significant essence to this type of nightstand. Some come with drawers, and some have only a shelf or two, but they are never spacious in terms of the overall size. So if you have many items to be stored during the night, this might not be the right choice for you.

In other cases, the nightstands are part of built-in furniture in the bedroom, giving you great space for storage, but a fixed interior that you cannot easily change.

Bedside chest

The bedside chest type of nightstands are basically your chest of drawers minimized and brought to a level with the bed's mattress – or even higher. The flat surface on the top can store a lamp, smaller family photos, maybe a box of tissues, while the drawers – typically two or three – can keep things hidden, providing a neat look.

Bedside cabinet

Bedside cabinets are very similar in shape and size; however, this type is unique with a door where larger and higher items can be fitted - inspired by the very original bedside cabinet design that goes way back to the1800s (!).

Floating nightstands and floating bedside shelves

Floating nightstands are the wall-mounted versions of bedside tables and chests – and they feature a hidden mounting system that gives them the floating look. When seeing a floating nightstand, what comes to mind is chic, space-friendly, and contemporary. If you are unsure of what floating furniture is, we recommend reading our article about this topic explaining What is floating furniture?. As these nightstands do not have a base or legs, just a hidden wall-mount, you can save plenty of space underneath for a basket or anything you like.

They are also great for storage space as they can have a range of configurations with drawers, and shelves. Another vote for floating nightstands as they are not just delightful for the eye but easy on the wallet too. Due to being smaller in size, it’s easier to ship therefore it may cost less than regular nightstands of the same quality.

Discover the floating nightstands designed by mybettershelf.

Bedside tables

Bedside tables are as their name suggests. These are small sized tables by the bed with no or minimal area for storage. By being more ornate and representing style rather than functionality, bedside tables are the choice for those who prefer fashion and admiration.

Nightstand alternatives

Besides classic pieces of furniture, many other things can serve as nightstands. It can be a chair, a large suitcase, even a pile of books – it’s all up to your creativity!


Nightstands are not only an aesthetic element of a bedroom furniture set but also an utilitarian one adding symmetry and a smart look to your décor. Choosing the right one is essential both for the eye and for the soul. We’ll help you with various interior design tips – subscribe to our newsletter to get these delivered straight to your inbox.

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